By Abdullateef ‘Lanre Ahmed
In the annals of the 55 year old Kwara State, this day won’t pass without being chronicled. The day is significant due to the invaluable and selfless contribution of one of those who vigorously and persistently pursued what they believe in even at personal cost.
He is Mahmud Babatunde Ajeigbe, Ph.D who crossed the proverbial rubicon all geared towards realizing his ‘long life’ ambition. This is obviously not unconnected with his resolve to attain the peak of studentship within the four falls classroom, which culminated in his obtainment of Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration when such dream could have been scuttled on account of his temporal comfort as Commissioner for Information and Communication in the state.
The Offa-born financial expert cum politician, who clocks 54 years today, is a rare gem among his contemporaries and whose relationships and network transcend the confines of his immediate environment. He is a Kwaran with cult like following of both the old and young.
Ajeigbe, fondly and admirably referred to as MBA, notwithstanding his urban posture, has strategically positioned himself like a modern man would do, in relating and courting people of diverse background irrespective of whose ox is gored. He has all the qualities of a Renaissance man- he makes friends with the utmost ease.
Besides his Pan-Kwaranism for Kwara can be likened to a mini-Nigeria with assemblage of tribes, the former Commissioner is a polyglot effectively communicating in three different languages of Yoruba, Hausa and English.
His polyglotism is perhaps discernible from his main background as a Yoruba man, who, in his insatiable quest for good life and quality education, made Kaduna State his base with members of his family, got acclimatized and established a private firm known as Nineties Ventures Limited in the state with a number of employees.
Ajeigbe’s tenure as Governor’s aide on NEPAD, Agriculture, Senior Special Assistant on Parastatal Monitoring and Compliance as well as Commissioner for Information and Communication in Kwara State was replete with successes. Endowed with inner resources, Ajeigbe proved his mettle as strategist and bequeathed enviable legacies at different places he was privileged to serve.
Perhaps his ability to deploy his midas touch effectively, beyond local politicking and friendship, endeared him to the immediate past Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, who appointed him a Commissioner in his cabinet.
While serving as a member of the then State Executive Council, Ajeigbe, among other proposals, recommended the creation of a Directorate of Public Orientation (DPO) in the state Ministry of Communications, which was then called Ministry of Information and Communication. The proposal scaled the integrity screening at the SEC meeting, and it thus led to the expansion of directorates in the ministry.
As a prominent figure in the cabinet of the immediate past administration, Ajeigbe is one of those who derided flippancy. His diligence and ability to multitask cannot also be wished away.
Call him a headhunter, he is. Refer to him as a well wisher, that is the personality he wears. Dub him as a goal getter, he is exact picture of the original. Being result oriented in life has prodded him to sacrifice when he could decide to look the other way and savour the moment while it lasts.
Ajeigbe’s loyalty to the cause he believes in is also one of his uniqueness. Politically, he is consequential and indispensable in his homestead of Offa. Although no mortal is indispensable, but belittling him when it mattered most, could be too costly.
For one-time Commissioner for Information and Communication in Kwara State, adding another year on this day is an uncommon privilege that requires a deep reflection on the earthly journey of more than five decades.
Ahmed is an Ilorin-based Journalist
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